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Dr Katie Willy | Osteopath | Balwyn North

COVID-19 Iso Mental Health Strategy – Try this!

Written by Dr Katie Willy

Having trouble changing your perspective mentally when you can’t change it physically?

With this re-run of isolation in Melbourne, I’ve noticed that there is a deeper feeling of despair this time around.

What I’ve been hearing from the people I have seen is that it feels like a 6 week battle for their livelihoods.  I picture this like a sack of spuds on their shoulders.

So I wondered if I could offer a way to re-frame the situation to make it more palatable each day.  I’m not deluded in thinking we can trick ourselves into thinking there’s no change, of course there is.  But what if you could take some of those spuds out of the sack for the day and lighten the load on your mind.  I experience this feeling in myself like a heavy chest, not able to take a deep breath, slouchy and tired.

So here’s the idea…

Each day you feel like your mental health is on a downhill slide, simply say to yourself:

“This is the last day”, of being in isolation that is. 

Now we all know it’s not but don’t let that dissuade you, because a curious thing happens. 

Say it to yourself and have a feel in yourself of how this statement works. Did you take a deeper breath?

What tends to happen is the heaviness lifts, even for a short time & maybe just a little.  It’s better than nothing though and something you can practice and use over and over again.  After all the old cliché of one day at a time has some merit and we just need enough resources to manage TODAY.

We need to take in that breath, it’s a wonderful reset for your mind & body.

A cool study…

There was the great study done on 2 groups of soldiers that were forced to march.

Group 1 knew the exact distance they were marching.

Group 2 were NOT told the distance, and instead were told throughout the march “there’s not too much further.”

Which group do you think managed this forced march the best?

It was in fact Group 2, they found the march less mentally difficult and actually kept a faster pace than Group 1.

Knowing the length of time can feel so big of a challenge. Take it down to daily bite-sized chunks.

Imagine if you were measuring your daily steps on a Fitbit (maybe you do this) with a target of 10,000 each day. You don’t think of all the days in one go, you just tackle today’s steps.  That’s the approach you may benefit from with this new challenge.

Have a go. 

Even if it’s not for right now, in a few weeks if you notice a mindset change towards the negative…come back and read this again.

2 Responses
  1. Maree Cummins

    Hello my dear friend
    You are correct in saying this second six weeks is having a greater impact upon us.
    I am taking it day by day which sounds quite dramatic but it was an almost physical blow to start this all over again.
    I know I am in a much better situation than many people but I find being shut off from most of my family very difficult.
    You will be pleased to know that the old body is ok though. Lots of walking and my stretching exercises help. Not sure why I have put on three kilos!
    I hope you and all your work family, Ty, Jonah and Issac stay safe and well. Nearly birthday time.xxx
    Maree Cummins

    1. admin

      Hey Maree,
      Great to hear from you my lovely.
      Taking it day-by-day doesn’t sound dramatic at all. We all have our own internal dialogue going on I can assure you!
      I think feeling shut off from family is the biggest trigger for these feelings right now. You are a huge family person, you always have been so it makes sense that this is the part you are struggling with.
      Well done with your body. Take care of your chariot!

      Yes, birthday time just around the corner. Isaac needed a new bike so I went and bought it 2 weekends ago (early present) so he could use during this time. Something exciting for the boys to do together (although Jonah just shoots off speedily) but Isaac is loving his red 7-speed bike. The boys are great otherwise. They definitely miss going to the park and playing with random kids (like Sam)! All in good time. Lucky to have each other and be so close.

      I see you booked for a massage on Friday…ENJOY!!!!!
      Katie xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

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